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How to get a Real Estate License in Massachusetts

How to get a Real Estate License in Massachusetts

Becoming a real estate agent allows you to help individuals and families find their dream homes. Real estate is one of the rare career paths that can help you generate substantial income while simultaneously creating investment opportunities and long term wealth for your clients. The freedom that comes from scheduling each day to maximize your commissions is empowering and exciting.

Each state has its own requirements and laws regarding becoming a real estate agent. Before you tackle the task of earning your real estate license in MA, you’ll need to know all the specifics. Whether you’re starting a new career in real estate or transferring your license to a new state, this guide provides you with all the information you need to complete the process.

Initial Requirements:​

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident.
  • You need to be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must have a valid social security number.
  • A college degree is not necessary to become a real estate agent, but a high school education or GED is required.

Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

1. Complete 40 hours of Massachusetts pre-licensing education.

The state of Massachusetts requires that all candidates take certified real estate courses before taking the real estate license exam. Some schools offer flexible online classes, while others are in-person. Depending on the school and learning format you choose, the cost for the course can range from $95 to $350. Make sure the school is authorized by the Massachusetts Real Estate Board before selecting one. In this class, you’ll learn about the following topics:

  • Basic contract law
  • Federal and Massachusetts real estate laws
  • Property rights, disclosures, and valuation
  • Financing for real estate
  • Agency relationships
  • Brokerage responsibilities and operations
  • Real estate math

At the end of the course, you will take a final exam. You’ll receive a certificate that proves you took the required course at an approved real estate school.

It is important you research and make sure you are working with a real estate school with a proven track record for success. Talk to real estate agents that have obtained their license in the past year, and get their honest feedback. Ideally, you want a real estate school that will provide you with the tools you need to pass the exam on your first try. We partner with some of the best real estate schools in Greater Boston- and we regularly have access to specials that could greatly reduce your initial investment.

2. Gain approval from the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.

Before you take the real estate licensing exam, you’ll complete an application for PSI Examination Services, which oversees all license exams in Massachusetts. You have two years from the date you completed the 40-hour course to take the real estate exam. You need three candidate endorsements from individuals unrelated to you for the application. After all, real estate agents need to uphold a code of ethics!

You will need to pay a $31 application fee and a $54 exam fee. Before taking your exam, you need to make sure you have correctly filed all previous Massachusetts state tax returns and have paid all of your state taxes. PSI will run a background check on you before approving your application. Applicants who are currently on probation or parole will not be able to become licensed. Once you are approved to take the MA real estate licensing exam, you can visit the PSI website to schedule your exam.

3. Pass the Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson Examination.

The multiple-choice test can be conducted in person or online, and you will have four hours to complete it. Be sure to spend time studying the material from the pre-licensing course before taking the exam. You need to score at least 70% to pass the exam, and you can find out immediately after completing the exam whether you passed or failed.

You will be issued your MA real estate agent license if you pass. The fee for a new license is between $103-$150, depending on your birthdate. If you don’t pass both sections of the exam, you’ll receive a breakdown of your score in the different areas of the test. This report will help you study for the retake. There’s no need to despair if you didn’t pass both sections- you can retake the exam as many times as you need within two years of the completion of the pre-licensing course.

4. Join a Massachusetts Real Estate Brokerage.

Every new real estate agent starts as a salesperson and can join a brokerage. Massachusetts law requires that real estate agents work under a broker. A broker has taken additional training, has experience in real estate, and has passed the broker exam. You still have a lot to learn, so it’s important to choose your first brokerage carefully. Look for a brokerage that offers training, leads, innovative technologies, in- house keys, and more. A brokerage offering the right tools and support will be key to your success.

You can also eventually choose to get your broker’s license. This will mean you can officially work for yourself, under no other broker’s authority. Furthermore, you’ll be able to hire your own team to work under you and help the next generation of real estate agents learn how to do the job!

Continuing Education Requirement

In order to ensure all agents are up to date on the latest legal and administrative requirements, you need to renew your real estate license in MA every two years. This constitutes 12 credit hours of approved continuing education. You can complete this schooling at any approved real estate school two years following your license’s expiration date and it can be done entirely online.

Real Estate License Reciprocity

If you have obtained your real estate license in another state and have moved, obtaining your license in Massachusetts may be much easier. Real estate license reciprocity allows you to transfer your license to another state. You can avoid taking the MA licensing course or examination if you’re moving from a state that has agreements with one another.

Massachusetts has reciprocal relationships with the following states: Connecticut, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia. If you are from one of these eleven states, you will only need to pay a small application fee or submit a record of your license history for full practicing privileges in MA. Reciprocity is not absolute, and requirements will vary from state to state. Other states do not offer any formal reciprocity. For example, Florida’s reciprocity with Massachusetts only offers an educational waiver under certain conditions.

Final Thoughts

After studying and completing applications, you’ll find that your hard work can pay off quickly. Being a real estate agent is flexible and fulfilling, especially in the right location. Boston, Massachusetts has a thriving real estate scene for both rentals and sales. Agents in Boston make a median salary of $92,465 a year. Even new agents can make that in their first year- if they have found the right team. At Boston Real Estate Job, our company network features 5 top of the line real estate offices for you to consider! Thanks to the best technologies, access to New England’s largest real time database, and personalized training programs you can’t fail.

If you’ve ever thought about how to become a real estate agent in Boston, now is a great time to start. For qualified candidates, we are currently offering scholarships that will reimburse some to all of the cost of your licensing process! Apply now to speak to a hiring manager and jumpstart your future in real estate.

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Aubrey Liss

Aubrey Liss

Aubrey Liss has been a licensed real estate professional since March of 2004. Aubrey relocated to Boston in early 2005 and began working with Jacob Realty. With a well-rounded background of residential sales and longstanding family history of property development, she was instrumental in the expansion of the Jacob Realty sales team. Her policies and leadership qualities helped gain her the title of Director of Operations since 2006 for several leading brokerages. Aubrey stays engaged and well informed regarding the latest market trends in both investment and residential products. Ms. Liss enjoys helping agents and landlords develop properties to their highest potential for both sales and rentals depending on market conditions. Aubrey has over a decade of complex development experience including by-right projects and successfully navigating the variance process throughout the Greater Boston area.

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